When Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob away from his home in the promised land of Canaan to escape the wrath of his brother Esau, Rebekah expected him to be gone for a few days—just until Esau calmed down. (Gen. 27:44) But days and then weeks and then months passed; Jacob was with Laban for twenty years. (Gen. 31:38)
Before Jacob left home, Isaac blessed him and instructed him to find a wife among his relatives. And that’s what Jacob did. On his way to Laban’s house, God appeared to Jacob at Bethel in a dream and gave Jacob the same covenant He gave to Abraham. Jacob believed God had chosen him as an heir of the promise—to follow God, to lead the family, and to teach the next generation to follow God too.
This meant Jacob would have a family. He arrived in Haran and saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban. Jacob loved Rachel. He agreed to work for seven years for Laban if Laban would let him marry Rachel. After seven years, Laban deceived Jacob. Instead of giving him Rachel, Laban gave him Rachel’s older sister, Leah.
Jacob was angry. Laban demanded that Jacob work another seven years if he wanted to marry Rachel. So Jacob worked seven more years. Jacob’s own plans for his life were not lining up with the Lord’s plans. He wanted to have children with Rachel, but she was barren. His first four sons came from Leah. Finally, Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin.
In time, Jacob fathered twelve sons—Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. This week, help your kids understand nothing could stop God’s plan for the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even though Jacob did not love Leah, God loved her and used her in His plan. Through the family of Jacob and Leah’s son Judah, God would show His love for the world by sending His Son to be the Savior He promised.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
Babies and Toddlers
God keeps His promises.
Laban tricked Jacob.
God kept His promise to give Jacob a big family.
God sent Jesus through Jacob’s family
Does God keep His promises? God always keeps His promises.
Laban tricked Jacob.
Does God keep His promises? God always keeps His promises because He is faithful.
Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah and Rachel.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
● Genesis 28:15 (Genesis 28:15a for Babies and Toddlers)
● “Jacob's New Name” (Genesis 32–33)